Why Is Topical Vitamin C Important For Skin Health
- Payal Patel, MD, Contributor
Topical vitamin C is a science-backed, dermatologist-favorite ingredient that may help slow early skin aging, prevent sun damage, and improve the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, and acne. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it fights harmful free radicals that come in contact with your skin from external sources like air pollution, or from inside the body as a result of normal processes like your metabolism. Free radicals can damage the skin, and applying topical vitamin C can combat free radicals and may improve the skins overall appearance.
How Often Should I Use Vitamin C Under Eye Cream
Vitamin C serum under eye cream is usually applied once a day. If you have other creams as part of your skincare regimen, space out the timing to avoid interaction. For example, if you use retinol which doesnt mix with vitamin C consider applying your vitamin C serum in the morning and retinol before bed.
What Is Vitamin C Serum
In its purest form, vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to fight infection, heal wounds, and keep tissues healthy. Its instilled in us at a very young age that we should always be taking our vitamin C to stay healthy. Whats that saying? An apple a day keeps the doctor away?
Well it turns out that vitamin C isnt just good for strong immunity, it also promotes healthy skin! As one of the most sought after skincare ingredients on the market, vitamin C provides many skin benefits such as anti-aging, skin brightening, hydration, and more. Keep reading for a few of our favorite skin benefits that come with vitamin C.
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The Skincare Benefits Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one skincare ingredient we cant live without. This powerful natural antioxidant is a skincare powerhouse that boasts a slew of benefits for every skin type. Its a key part of any effective anti-aging skincare routine and can help address countless skin concerns, from dullness to dark spots and discolorations. Of course, adding an extra glass or two of OJ to your breakfast in the morning probably wont do a whole lot for your skin. To reap the full beauty benefits of vitamin C, you have to use it topically.
Since vitamin C is so beneficial , we felt it was high time to do a deep-dive on this potent skin-perfecting ingredient. Ahead, youll learn everything you need to know about vitamin C and how it benefits your skin. Plus, well provide you with recommendations on the best Kiehls products that contain vitamin C. Keep reading to discover four vitamin C benefits worth noting.
The Container Shouldnt Let Air Or Light In
Vitamin C is super-sensitive to light, so the suns rays will break it down faster if its in clear packaging. As such, you also want to keep it stashed away in a cool, dark space such as the fridge as heat exposure reduces its potency too.
Although vitamin C serums are often a yellowish color, if the tint turns darker or brownish, thats a sign its turned and should be tossed.
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Vitamin C Benefits For Skin Hair And Health
Mar 9, 2021 | Blog
There are very few ingredients in the world that are as crucial to our bodies as Vitamin C. Without the nutrients offered by fresh fruits, vitamin supplements, and vegetables, there is a high probability of running into health complications. Our dermatologist in Wellington is going to dive into some of the incredible benefits of Vitamin C for skin, hair, and health, starting us off by answering your most asked questions about Vitamin C and its benefits. Dont self-diagnose on the internet, be sure to visit DCSI and we will happily answer all questions regarding Vitamin C deficiency.
It Helps Reduce Redness And Even Out Your Skin Tone
Vitamin C has also been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory agent through its antioxidant capacity, according to a . This means it soothes your skin and can reduce puffiness.
Vitamin Cs anti-inflammatory action may help:
- neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative damage
- optimize the immune system to discourage an inflammatory immune response
The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C can also help reduce redness, which in turn can create a more even complexion.
The combined reduction of dark spots, redness, and irritation makes for a clear, smooth skin tone.
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What Are Some Potential Side Effects And Risks
While vitamin C is generally considered safe, there are a few potential side effects and risks to be aware of. You should always do a patch test on a small area of skin before using any new product, and this is especially true with vitamin C.
Vitamin C is also a photo-sensitizer, which means it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Be sure to apply sunscreen when using vitamin C products and avoid prolonged sun exposure.
Vitamin C Benefit #: It Can Help Address Eye Area Concerns
The skin around the eyes is among the thinnest and most delicate on the body, which makes the eye area uniquely susceptible to age-related concerns like wrinkles, lines, and discolorations. Unlike many of the more potent anti-aging ingredients, vitamin C is exceedingly gentle and can safely be used around the eyes to help address these visible concerns.
Adding a vitamin C eye cream into your daily skincare routine can help to keep your eye area youthful-looking. Try Powerful-Strength Dark Circle Reducing Vitamin C Eye Serum, which contains 10% pure vitamin C and hydrating hyaluronic acid. The unique, lightweight formula instantly hydrates and smoothes the under-eye area to refresh the appearance of tired-looking eyes. With regular use, it helps decrease the appearance of a wide range of concerns, including dark circles, crows feet, and puffiness, for visibly fresher, brighter-looking eyes. Wear it on its own or layer it under a thicker eye cream for added hydration.
For mens eye-area concerns, we recommend Age Defender Eye Repair. This daily eye cream instantly brightens the skin to minimize the severity of dark under-eye circles. Additionally, the formula with vitamin C and rye seed extract helps smooth and firm the eye area to diminish the appearance of crows feet and under-eye wrinkles. Use this multi-action anti-wrinkle cream morning and night for a brighter, more lifted appearance.
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How To Choose A Vitamin C Serum
The best vitamin C serum for you isnt necessarily the fanciest one money can buy. In fact, a lot of the most expensive products we came across contain potentially pore-clogging ingredients that can contribute to breakouts. Luckily, you dont need to break out or break the bank just to enjoy this antioxidant! In fact, almost all of our top picks are drugstore vitamin C serums.
Here are a few vitamin C serums whose ingredients weve reviewed and determined to have a low likelihood of triggering acne or irritating the skin:
Sephora Collection Ultra Glow Serum: Glow + Strengthen Vitamin C Serum
This vitamin C serum includes an antioxidant blend that complements the vitamin Cs natural properties. Sunflower seed oil, panthenol, and vitamin E give it a pleasant and soft texture. However, the bottle it comes in doesnt prevent the serum from oxidizing and it can only be found in Sephora stores.
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It Helps With Hyperpigmentation
When our skin is damaged due to sunburns or inflamed acne, the part of the healing processes is triggering skin cells to create more melanin and, thus, prevent further damage. However, overproduction of melanin can cause age spots, sun spots, and melasma.
Topical application of vitamin C has been shown to reduce melanin production . Therefore, it reduces dark spots and leads to a brightened and faded dark spots.
Other Forms Of Vitamin C For Your Skin
Besides ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbic phosphate, ascorbic palmitate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and magnesium ascorbic phosphate are the most stable and effective forms for the skin. These derived forms of vitamin C work better if they are mixed with other good antioxidant and cell-communicating products. Consider ingredients such as green tea, retinol and/or niacinamide. Paulas Choice has several options you can choose from:
What You Can Do
Acne-related hyperpigmentation occurs when dark patches develop after a blemish has healed. Although hyperpigmentation is harmless, it can be frustrating to deal with.
If youre experiencing acne-related hyperpigmentation, you arent alone. Talk to your dermatologist about your options for over-the-counter and professional treatment.
The exact treatment you choose will depend on the severity of your condition, as well as your skin type and tone. Your dermatologist can help you find the best option for your skin.
Read on to learn more about how you can fade this form of hyperpigmentation with OTC products, prescription creams, and more.
Why Vitamin C Is Highly Recommended For Skin
Vitamin C is not just limited to its antioxidants properties but it is beyond it. Since vitamin C is highly acidic it works efficiently in skin-healing processes. When it applies topically, it works instantly to heal a wound by accelerating the production of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are both protein fibers that enhance skin cell regeneration and make your skin firm and tight. Collagen also helps to delay the aging process of the skin and prevent dark pigmentation.
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Ascorbic Acid: The King Of Vitamin C
Among all the forms of vitamin C, ascorbic acid also known as L-ascorbic acid is the most researched in terms of its beneficial effects on the skin. That is why you are most likely to come across it well-formulated skincare products.
Ascorbic acid in high concentrations is perfect for treating the most persistent skin problems. We offer two concentrations of vitamin C, our C15 Booster with 15% stabilised ascorbic acid for all over use and C25 Super Booster with 25% stabilised ascorbic acid.
Who Should Use Vitamin C
If youre interested in preventing obvious signs of skin aging, vitamin C is for you. Its also beneficial for people with sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. Vitamin C also adds a layer of protection if you work or spend a lot of time outdoors.
You should check with your dermatologist before using vitamin C if you have sensitive skin, rosacea, eczema, or other facial inflammation.
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Tip #: Be Mindful Of The Expiration Date And Packaging
Vitamin C is naturally very reactive and unstable. If routinely exposed to air, heat, and light, it oxidizes and quickly loses its potency and antioxidant properties.
The shelf life of your vitamin C skin care product will depend on its formulation. But, generally, once opened, it will last between three to six months. Unopened products will last anywhere between one year and 18 months.
Therefore, if you plan to use your vitamin C serum frequently, it’s best to choose smaller packaging to avoid expiration. Also, to make sure it lasts as long as it should, your vitamin C product should be in an air-tight pump container or bottle that’s opaque and dark in color. It would help if you also stored it at room temperature and dark place, away from sunlight.
The best sign your vitamin C serum or moisturizer is expired is the change of its color. Usually, vitamin C serums are pale yellow or colorless. Once oxidized, they tend to get darker yellow and even brown. Apart from slight yellow skin discoloration, an expired vitamin C product can’t harm you it just loses its potency and efficacy. However, if it darkened drastically, you should definitely get rid of it.
Which Vitamin C Serums To Buy Dermatologists Name Their Clients Favorites
SkinBetter Science Alto Defense Serum stars vitamins C and E, along with 17 antioxidants to guard against a range of free radicals and reduce redness.
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum contains 15 percent L-ascorbic acid, plus ferulic acid for a powerful yet lightweight day serum.
Paulas Choice C15 Super Booster is another high-potency pick with 15 percent vitamin C, along with E and ferulic acid, plus hyaluronic acid to attract moisture for supple skin.
Vichy Vitamin C Serum Brightening Skin Corrector boasts minimal ingredients to keep things simple. With ascorbic acid, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid, this serum may boost skin smoothness and radiance.
The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% offers a budget-friendly way to try a vitamin C serum, and also contains alpha-arbutin, another ingredient thats touted for its skin-brightening abilities.
Additional reporting by Jessica Migala.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Vitamin C
Topical vitamin C is well-tolerated by most, but in very rare instances some individuals may develop a hypersensitivity reaction, Dr. Mack says. This can be particularly true for those with skin conditions like eczema or rosacea. Since vitamin C is formulated at an acidic pH to remain effective, it can potentially aggravate these already compromised skin barriers.
To prevent excessive skin irritation, avoid pairing vitamin C with retinol, which is known to cause redness and irritation, and exfoliating ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids. With serums and moisturizers, start slowly once a day at a lower concentration and increase to twice a day as tolerated.
And know that more isn’t always better when it comes to active skincare ingredients like vitamin C. Using too high of a percentage of vitamin C can be very irritating to the skin, leading to redness and dryness,” Dr. Del Campo explains. She recommends sticking to formulas with a 10 to 20% concentration of vitamin C for efficacy without irritation.
Diminishes Under Eye Circles
Dark under-eye circles are a common problem. They often result from too little sleep. When you see these dark circles, theyre actually a collection of blood vessels right under the skin.
When you are stressed or tired, these dark circles can become more prominent and noticeable. Vitamin C may help reduce and even prevent dark circles under the eyes.
Vitamin C may help strengthen the skin beneath your eyes. When your skin appears more resilient and elastic, it helps to conceal the appearance of dark under-eye circles.
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Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
To boost the vitamin Cs natural properties, Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum includes vitamin E and ferulic acid both of which boost the serums efficacy. Free of harsh chemicals, this serum includes chamomile extract for a subtle, pleasant scent and soothing properties.
This serum is slightly sticky after application, so keep this in mind when considering this product.
Tip #: Don’t Mix Vitamin C With Certain Skincare Ingredients
Vitamin C can typically be used in conjunction with many other skincare ingredients without any adverse effects. It’s also well-tolerated by most skin types. But if you have hypersensitive skin, you might want to skip it altogether, or at least avoid using it the night you’re using a face scrub or exfoliating acid.
In addition, vitamin C shouldn’t be mixed with benzoyl peroxide or soap-based cleansers. If used alongside these ingredients, vitamin C will oxidize and lose its potency. You can still use products that contain these ingredients, just not the same day you use vitamin C or as part of the same routine.
You should also avoid using a vitamin C serum together with retinoids, AHAs or BHAs as it can increase the risk of irritation.
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Functions In Healthy Skin
Vitamin C limits the damage induced by ultraviolet light exposure. Vitamin C is not a âsunscreenâ because it does not absorb light in the UVA or UVB spectrum. Rather, the antioxidant activity of vitamin C protects against UV-induced damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C transport proteins are increased in keratinocytes in response to UV light, suggesting an increased need for vitamin C uptake for adequate protection .
UV light decreases vitamin C content of skin, an effect that is dependent on the intensity and duration of UV exposure . In cultured keratinocytes, the addition of vitamin C reduces UV-related DNA damage and lipid peroxidation, limits the release of pro-inflammatorycytokines, and protects against apoptosis. Vitamin C also modulates redox-sensitivecell signaling in cultured skin cells and consequently increases cell survival following UV exposure .
In two rodent studies, addition of ascorbic acid to the diet reduced the size and number of dermal neoplasms and skin tumors induced by chronic UV exposure . To date, no other studies with UV exposure and oral ascorbic acid supplementation in animal models have been published.
Tip #: Use It At The Right Point In Your Skincare Routine
This will depend on the type of product you’re using. If you’re using a vitamin C serum, a good rule of thumb would be to apply it to freshly cleansed and toned skin and before your moisturizer.
However, if you already have a moisturizer with vitamin C in it, there’s no need for the serum. In this case, apply your moisturizer as you normally would, at the end of your skincare routine but before your SPF in the morning.
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